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On the same page: Book club has read almost 250 books in their 33 years together

“On the same page” is a series featuring Utah book clubs and runs every other week.

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SALT LAKE CITY — As neighbors and friends in Sandy, members of Book Club Best Friends Forever, also known as Willow Creek Book Club, have been diligently reading nearly 250 books together since 1985 according to book club host JoLynn Johnson.

"We were young mothers," said Johnson, who has been the host for 20 years. "So it kinda just turned out that we chose a lot of books on parenting, and things like that in the beginning."

This interview has been edited for clarity and length.

Deseret News: Does the book club have any favorite books?

JoLynn Johnson: There's a couple. I was thinking back and one of our favorite nights was when we had the author Karl Heinz-Schnibbe, who wrote the book "The Price," (visit our book club). He was one of the three young boys who delivered anti-Nazi literature in Germany. They were all three Germans, but opposed to what was going on. And they would illegally listen to the BBC at night. … He's now passed away, but that was one of our favorite nights. We were there two or three hours listening to that man, because he was living in Salt Lake. … His stories were just phenomenal. It was great.

DN: What is the book club reading right now?

JJ: Right now, we are reading "Wonder." That's the one we are reading this month. And last month we read "A Christmas Carol," by Dickens. So that's kind of like both ends of the calendar.

DN: Are there any special events coming up involving the book club?

JJ: We just play it by ear. We talked one year about going down to the Shakespeare plays (in Cedar City). That's another thing, we don't limit it to books. I mean novels and things. We read plays … we've read Shakespeare plays. … We don't really have any special meetings. Every summer, we try and have a luncheon at somebody's house. This year, it's turned out that we've had two or three of those, because we kind of like getting together in the daytime, too. But most of the time, we meet at night.

DN: What's your favorite thing about being involved in a book club?

JJ: The camaraderie. Even though we're learning, we all love to read, that's another underlying thing. But we just really love each other's company and we are very diverse. … But we're totally comfortable with each other. It's like there's no judgments, we're all equal. We just want to learn. We love each other's company.

JoLynn Johnson of the Book Club Best Friends Forever recommends:

"THE ORPHAN TRAIN," by Christina Baker Kline, William Morrow, 278 pages (f)

"LIFE IN A JAR: The Irene Sendler Project," by Jack Mayer, Long Trail Press, 396 pages (nf)

"THE HELP," by Kathryn Stockett, Berkley 544 pages (f)

"THE RENT COLLECTOR," by Camron Wright, Shadow Mountain, 228 pages (f)

"THE BOYS IN THE BOAT: Nine Americans and their Quest for Gold at the 1936 Berlin Olympics," by Daniel James Brown, Penguin Books, 404 pages (nf)